organizational change

Change Happens. How To Foster A Team That Not Only Survives, But Thrives.

The word “resilience” is popular right now. We’ve worn out “sustainability” and we want to build a business culture that helps our organization stay on the cutting edge. But how many of us think about what resilience really means? Here’s a definition for you:

Resilience: the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and re-organize while undergoing change so as to still retain essentially the same function, structure, identity, and feedbacks.
So, a resilient team can deal with the inevitable and ever-more-frequent changes we experience in life, and get back on track. But is simply getting back to where you were before what you want? Does this sound like an organization that is cutting edge? Isn’t there something more?!

I’m so glad you asked. There’s a brilliant guy named Nassim Nicholas Talib that wrote a little book called Antifragile. Now stay with me here, I see your eyes glazing over at some jargon-y, made-up business word. I promise you this one is worth thinking on. Antifragile is one of those books that is so packed with ideas that make my mind stretch, that I have to take a moment to process each paragraph I read. It’s awesome.

Talib describes the essence of antifragile as the following:

Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty. Yet, in spite of the ubiquity of the phenomenon, there is no word for the exact opposite of fragile. Let us call it antifragile. Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better (pp. 433-435).

See what I mean? That is an INCREDIBLY POWERFUL idea. Change hits, and instead of somehow making it back to the way things were before, your team actually improves? Yes, please.

So how can you create a culture of antifragility?

It takes intentional work. Central to building a high-functioning team is good communication. Regular, transparent and open communication nurtures trust, and creates a positive feedback loop of good communication.

Feeling like you’re in a communication rut with your team? Three words for you: Draw. It. Out.

Using drawings, especially simple ones, is a phenomenally useful and fun tool to build a culture of great communication and antifragility. Doodling complex ideas helps you clarify what’s most important and simplify the ideas to more easily explain to others. Inviting other team members to collaborate with you and share what they’re seeing opens eyes to new perspectives, new connections, and create a sense of shared ownership of ideas, which leads to a higher likelihood of action. Even if it looks messy, it’s about the process. It’s about sharing ideas and working together. Then being able to refine and share your story so that when sh*t gets real, everyone knows what the vision is, and feels the confidence to move toward antifragility.

Partnering with a graphic recorder can help you take a step back, think critically about the situation, and give your notes an extra pop of drawing expertise. Or, if you're itching to take the reins (ahem, markers) yourself, getting personalized training from a visual creativity coach can help you take your ideas to the next level. 

Click on the image below to see the larger version.

What do you think about antifragile? Come on over to the blog and share in the comments so others can benefit from your wisdom. 

If you liked this tip, please sign up for my emails and if you'd like, I'd be so grateful if you shared it with your friends!

Once again, thank you from my heart and soul for your support, great senses of humor, brilliant minds, collaboration and what you're each doing to make the world a better place.

Cheers, Karina

You don’t have to be an artist to draw out your ideas, but it’s pretty fun to work with one. If you’d like to bring me on for your next event or work with me one-on-one to improve your skills to draw out ideas, let me know by clicking that nice button down there.

Where in the World is ConverSketch?

Next week I'm headed to Salt Lake City to help them create a visual summary map of what they've been hearing in 1 1/2 years of outreach around ending homelessness in SLC. This drawing is something they can use to help the group is build on what the City has heard from the community, rather than repeating what they know already.

Psst…What’s that behind you? It’s impacting your life more than you realize

You’ve been leaving them behind you all month. All your life, really. You probably let a few slip out behind you today. Sometimes they’re messy, sometimes perfectly designed, sometimes barely discernible, other times they last for weeks. They are uniquely you.

What the heck am I talking about? Footprints.

What do footprints have to do with business? Well, it depends on how you look at it.

Here’s two ways:

What you do impacts those around you, probably more than you realize.  Have you ever thanked someone for a nugget of wisdom they shared that really struck a chord for you, only to have them look at you with a mildly puzzled smile? They don’t even remember what they said, but it shifted the way you looked at life and made a difference for you. On the other end of the spectrum, a flippant and uncaring word can ripple through someone’s life and uproot confidence.

What kind of imprint are you going to leave with those around you? Will it feel like stepping in a mud puddle, or crunching in sparkling snow? (Is stepping in a mud puddle really a bad thing? I don’t think it has to be, which is part of the unshakable optimism that makes me great at getting groups through tough conversations.)

Footprints are also useful tools for change in visual strategic planning.

Having clear steps visually outlined is a super powerful tool to be more productive, synergistic, collaborative and creative with your team. Why?
- You all know where you’re going with a clear vision.
- You all know what’s expected of you within the larger group to make sure the team is successful.
- Everyone understands the mile stones that will keep you moving toward the vision, even if different people approach achieving them different ways.
- And everyone knows how what they’re doing is contributing toward the group’s success. You all know where to find this map, and check in regularly using it as a guide.

So next time your team is meeting to lay things out for the week, or for the next five years, try putting a few footprints on the whiteboard to show the path forward, and fill them in together. Here’s some to get you started…

Click on the image below to see the larger version on the blog.

If you liked this tip, please sign up for my emails and if you'd like, I'd be so pumped if you shared it with your friends!

Once again, thank you from my heart and soul for your support, great senses of humor, brilliant minds, collaboration and what you're each doing to make the world a better place.
Cheers, Karina

Is your strategic plan a huge document nobody ever looks at?  Click to get in touch and find out how a custom designed, beautifully succinct strategic plan everybody wants to examine and revisit could be in your future.

Where in the World is ConverSketch?

This month I've officially launched my custom watercolor greeting cards and prints! All cards are 5x7 and printed on recycled paper and paired with recycled envelopes. They come as the individual images above, or with nice, uplifting quotes I've compiled. I'm still working on an online platform to purchase them, but you can email me for a direct order or stop by the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery or Wolverine Farm Letterpress & Publick House if you're local.